The storm was coming. That didn’t stop me from photographing what I saw along River Road.
The funny thing about this place is that I’ve probably passed by about twenty times. I kept sticking it in the back of my mind, thinking that I’d get to it soon. But, I didn’t. That’s just the way it goes.
This time. Storm bearing down. Light perfect. Some kind of flowers or weeds in the foreground. Good scene. Great light.
I had to stop. I just had to. But, not right there. Not at that moment. Doing that might have caused one of those traffic accidents that are described as “massive.” Nobody needs that. So, I drove to the first place I could turn around. Almost two miles away. Then I doubled back.
I was really after that house in the background. But, once I got there I realized that wasn’t the picture. The picture needed more. Luckily, I was walking through what it needed. Once again, the picture found me. It was right there. That’s the best way.
For the past few days, we’ve had nothing but storms. Rain. Wind. Humidity. Truth be told, we haven’t really seen blue skies very much over the past few weeks.
Today came. It always does, doesn’t it?
We went outside to begin a morning walk. I knew it was sunny. What I didn’t know was that a cool front followed that big storm. I stepped outside. Temperatures in the mid to high 60s. Nice breeze. Dry air. No rain. No humidity.
Ah. What a day.
This is going to be a partially written off week. First, the storm shut us down. No electrical power. Now the beautiful weather is going to shut us down. Who really wants to work on a day like this? I know that I don’t. That leads me to a story. Once, in my newspaper days, I called my boss and told him I couldn’t make it in today. He asked, “Oh, aren’t you feeling well?” I replied, “I feeling too good to come into that place today.” He answered, “Have a great well day.”
There you go.
I have lots of very good storm pictures. Maybe I’ll eventually get around to showing them to you. Maybe not. I do know this. Showing them to you today would only confuse you. And me.
Have great day. Wherever you are.
Oh. In case you are wondering. I don’t usually carry dslr cameras when we walk. This is an iPhone picture. I don’t know if that matters. It doesn’t to me.
A huge, nasty storm. Sideways pouring rain accompanied by high winds that were measured around 120 mph at the airport.
It came fast. It came hard. By about 9:30 am the skies were dark. The light in the house looked like the light you see at pre-dawn. By 10:30am, we lost power. So, I did the only thing I could do. I hit the streets looking for pictures. I didn’t have to look far. The pictures found me.
What did Rumi say? “The thing you seek is seeking you.” Well, it found me. Not to worry. I’m fine. I think everybody is fine. I haven’t read or heard that anybody got hurt. At least as a direct cause of the storm.
The damage? Well, freight cars fell off the long, rickety and almost ancient Huey P. Long bridge about 100 feet to the ground. Many streets were flooded. A lot of trees were knocked down. There seems to be some signs blowing around. The airport closed. Not only were the wind gusts much too strong for anything to fly, but they lost power just like the rest of us.
Personally? Well, the pool has about one-third of one of our big trees lying in it. I called a professional for that. Our street flooded over the sidewalk. But, that’s it. The flooding created yet another huge pot hole at the corner. But, we are used to that. Our veggie garden is in shambles and if we don’t dry out soon, the veggies well rot because of — get this, California — too much water. My biggest personal loss? I had a big golf umbrella. You know the ones. Huge. Could probably keep four people dry. Well, a strong gust of wind turned it inside out. Usually, that breaks an umbrella. But, oh no. This umbrella just didn’t break. It exploded into a billion pieces.
All in all, it wasn’t so bad. We have all been through worse.
Why did I go out? I’ve been laying back too much. Getting too comfortable. That needed to change. Besides, you can’t shoot pictures if you don’t hit the streets. Well, you can. But, that’s not my style.
Spring. Storms. Sideways Rain. That’s what we have in Southeast Louisiana, You see them coming. You do whatever it is you are doing. When they turn really bad you seek shelter. Or, you just keep going.
I knew this storm was coming. My smart phone told me. Yap. Yap. Yap. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. I could see the dark clouds gathering. And, here are the first splatters of raindrops on my car’s windshield. In the background you see an oil refinery. Yep. We have a lot of them on River Road as you drive on either side of the Mississippi River. Visitors and tourists often forget that once you get outside of New Orleans, we are an industrial blue-collar kind of place. We are the South. New Orleans is sort of a Caribbean third world country. It’s very different when you get less than ten miles away from the city in any direction.
It’s morning as I write. It’s very dark. The weather folks are calling for at least three inches of rain today. Of course, they’ve been known to be wrong. A better question is, how often are they right?
I couldn’t stand it. I just had to go make pictures even with another impending storm. Over the years I’ve become a Louisianan. Go about your business when you hear storm warnings until the storm actually arrives. If it’s not too bad, just keep doing whatever you were doing. If it turns sporty, find a little shelter. As I told a friend of mine, you never really get wet in a rainstorm until your underwear is soaked. Another friend suggested I shoot decrepit flowers. That friend is my first friend’s wife. Maybe they are in this together.
There you have it. Decrepit flowers on an old bar’s stoop. Judging from the amount of beer cans in the trash, I’m guessing the bar is still open. I have no idea why these flowers are where you see them. I found them that way. Honest. I was actually drawn to something across the street. I walked over to the bar because it was one of those corner structures that I like so much. When I looked down…
Eventually I continued upriver, got caught in the big storm and kept working. You’ll see those pictures later. This week. Honest.
I’m getting to the place where I’m getting very low on pictures that I want to show you. That’s not to say that I haven’t been working. But, I’m shooting pictures for all those book projects. Standing alone they don’t always make sense. They need to be hung together in some kind of story form.
It’s spring. Time for a little spring cleaning.
I realized that I’d never shown you these pictures, so here we go. Dancing Part Two.
While I was trying to upload them to Storyteller, WordPress said. “Nope. Storage too full.” I was expecting that, so I went into my files and cleaned out the extra stuff. Boy… let me tell you. I started this blog on eBlogger, many years ago. When I transferred the published pages it appears I transferred everything including pictures that were just saved via Google. Some that were never intended to see the light of day. That made my housekeeping easier. I also removed huge files, which was my way of doing things early on. I also removed anything that was remotely duplicated.
Why am I telling you all of this?
I suppose I’m really addressing the photographers among you. WordPress gives us a pretty good amount of free storage. No complaints there. But, learn from me. I didn’t really make any mistakes. Blogging is really just a process. You learn as you go. The biggest take away is to Just keep your stored files cleaned up and up to date. You know. Relevant.
I’m still trying to decide if I should delete just about all the picture files from WordPress. Every image is stored twice on various hard drives and in clouds — actually six times total. Twice as a RAW file. Twice as working TIFF. Twice as a finished TIFF. I don’t save jpegs made for Storyteller except on WordPress servers. They are generally too small do much with.
They are a nice record of the blog. But, the blog itself is that. The pictures will live on in the published pages.
Whaddy’all think? Should I clean out all the back files? Or, should I just leave them until the next time I need more room?
Wow! Spell check truly hates the word I just made up. “Whaddy’all.”
The levees that border the Mississippi River are huge. They aren’t what you are thinking when you hear the word levee. These things are wide at the top and broad at the bottom. There is a pathway on the top that bikers, runners and walkers share. Dogs share it too. Sometimes service and maintenance trucks and the Levee Police drive along it as well. It’s big. It’s a great place for an evening stroll, even in the summer.
The picture, itself? Oh, you don’t want to know. Long time friends of Storyteller know that I have no problem with drive by shootings. With cameras. Not guns. In this case, it wasn’t much of a drive by. I was stuck in late afternoon rush hour traffic. The average speed was probably 3 mph. When I took this picture, the average speed was zero. For about five minutes. I just rolled down the driver’s side window and stuck my camera out there. That’s the story.
Earth Day. Yes. I know. I’m a day late. It’s just that I wanted to actually take the picture on Earth Day. I’ll just have to start planning better. Next time, I’ll take the picture, go into the studio, do the post production and post. But, that seems like the same everybody else is doing. Go to an event, take a picture using a smart phone and post immediately… to prove you were there. Or, are there “right now.” Me? I’m slower than that. Besides. I was enjoying a pretty spring day in my backyard.
Just a few more pictures from Sunday’s Ole & Nu second line parade. It’s all about the joy. All about the celebration.
A quick reminder, although I’ll be photographing whatever I see, second line parades are on hiatus for the next two Sundays while Jazzfest takes over the city. They will return on Mother’s Day, May 10 with Westfest — The Westbank Indians Super Sunday — and the Original 7 second line. I have to think about attending Jazzfest for even one day. You know I like music. There are plenty of pictures lurking about just waiting to be found. But, you may not believe this, I really dislike being in big crowds.
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